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5 Great Estate Cars To Finance

These days the MPVs, SUVs and crossovers get a lot of attention as the marketing men try to find new segments to exploit but there has always been a versatile and practical alternative to the standard saloon: it’s called the estate.

These days the MPVs, SUVs and crossovers get a lot of attention as the marketing men try to find new segments to exploit but there has always been a versatile and practical alternative to the standard saloon: it’s called the estate. Estate cars have been around for almost as long as the car itself. They were often thought of as a slightly boring alternative to the saloon, with more space but less style and poorer handling. Modern estates are different. They handle superbly and the styling is often more attractive than the saloon counterpart. What is more, they give you almost all of the practicality of an SUV or MPV without the gas guzzling guilt. Here are five that are definitely worth a test drive.
 
1) Ford Focus Estate, 2005 - 2011
 
The Focus is one of the most complete cars sold in the UK today. It is well priced, has bags of equipment and still looks contemporary and attractive. It is no accident that the Focus continues to appear close to the top of the sales charts after all of these years; British motorists know a good car when they see one. The Focus is also more fun to drive than many of its competitors and the estate version manages to retain the handling that makes this car a pleasure to motor in.
 
2) Skoda Octavia Estate, 2005 - Present
 
The Skoda Octavia is another great car. Since the marque was taken over by Volkswagen the build quality has rocketed, along with the value proposition. A quick look at the minicab ranks will reveal lots of these cars and the cabbies know a thing or two about their motors. They buy cars that are economical and reliable and the Octavia scores maximum points for both. VW engines and engineering make sure these cars will last forever and the designers have ensured that the Octavia is a handsome beast. This is a bargain of a car with a premium feel to it. The market is beginning to take notice, so used prices are strengthening. 
 
3) Toyota Avensis Tourer, 2003 - 2009
 
If you are looking for reliability, then a Toyota should always be on your shortlist. The Avensis is so easy to drive it feels almost like an autonomous car and the cabin is well-appointed and cosseting to driver and passengers alike. The level of equipment is generous and the model range is broad, so finding the right car for your needs is almost certainly possible. The two litre diesel engine is a bit of a standout, providing an excellent balance between performance and economy. An Avensis may not be as handsome as some rivals but its blend of reliability and equipment make up for the lack of kerb appeal. 
 
4) BMW 3 Series Touring, 2005 - Present
 
There is no reason why you cannot buy an estate and still drive a stylish and prestige motor and the BMW 3 Series Touring provides ample evidence of this. It manages to provide a useful and large load space while still looking sharp and attractive. The handling is everything you would expect of a BMW and a fine range of engines provides all the performance you could need. Of these, the two litre diesel is probably the pick of the bunch. It is smooth and refined, delivering effortless cruising. When you put the foot down it can also respond with verve. Inside, there is a surprising amount of room for drivers and passengers and the equipment level is generous. The entry level models have alloys, cruise control and climate control but if you can stretch to an SE model you will be rewarded with a great balance between price and equipment.
 
5) Mercedes C-Class Estate, 2000 - 2007
 
Our list concludes with another quality German offering. You might not get as much space in the C-Class as you do in some rivals but it is still practical enough. Most engines are surprisingly economical and 50mpg is not out of the question. The smaller engines may feel a little underpowered, however. The C-Class will deliver a smooth and effortless ride and the cabin is a relaxing place to be. Throughout the car you will find an excellent level of sophistication and the build quality promises years of trouble-free motoring.

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